Some of the biggest names in sport will all converge on the luxurious Breezes Hotel in the Bahamas in November for a special awards night.
Sports stars, promoters, coaches and officials from across the Caribbean, US and Europe will be at Breezes in Nassau for the second annual Caribbean Awards Sports Icons event.
Last year’s inaugural CASI event was in Jamaica. It was a roaring success and the second staging of it promises to be bigger and better.
Hosted by the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, it was well attended by Caribbean sports stars including Jimmy Adams, Mike McCallum, Aleen Bailey, Nesta Carter and Grace Jackson.
The 2009 edition of the Caribbean Awards Sports Icons at Breezes is on 21 November and comes after a week-long series of sports events in celebration.
FIFA vice-president Jack Warner interrupted a busy schedule to attend last year’s. Digicel were the main sponsors of CASI. It was also backed by Jamaica’s Ministry of Sports who sent their special adviser Ali McNabb as their rep.
CASI is the brainchild of sports promoter Al Hamilton, MBE, a Jamaican based in London. Hamilton has been running the highly successful annual Commonwealth Sports Awards since 1980 and has taken the event to many Commonwealth countries.
Legendary names that have attended the Commonwealth Sports Awards have included Lennox Lewis, Clive Lloyd, Bob Beamon, Courtney Walsh and John Barnes.
CASI was six years in planning and Hamilton and his Jamaican representative Paulton Gordon did a fine job.
Nearly 300 attended and had a great time meeting the stars and being entertained by international cabaret queen Stella Starr who flew in from Monte Carlo.
Fred Sturrup, president of the Commonwealth Boxing Council who attended the Jamaican event and was impressed, is the prime reason why it will be held in the Bahamas.
Sturrup is the associate editor of the Nassau Guardian and also the president of the Commonwealth Boxing Council which governs all professional boxers under the Commonwealth banner.
The sports events Sturrup is organising for CASI 2 include boxing, basketball and softball.
The major support is the Bahamas Ministries of Sports and Tourism but they’re looking for sponsors of various categories, costing US$10,000.
Hamilton said: ‘We are planning to invite some of the biggest names in Caribbean sport and beyond. Former champion boxers Maurice Hope (WBC light-middle), Derek Williams (European and Commonwealth heavyweight) and Roy Gumbs (British and Commonwealth middleweight) have confirmed their attendance.
‘We are working on the nominees at present.’
Hamilton added: ‘I would really like to commend the Minister Of Youth Sports and Culture Desmond Bannister and of course Mr Smith and all the rest of the Breezes staff for their foresight in supporting CASI from the outset. They have taken the lead, others should follow their example.
‘We would like to see sports teams from around the Caribbean coming to participate in boxing, softball and basketball.’
Hamilton particularly extended the invitation to the Cayman Islands knowing that it has a vibrant sports scene.
Sprinter Mike McFarlane (1982 Commonwealth Games 200m gold medallist) and Ricky Hill, the former Luton and England midfielder are also attending.
All in all, with the full support from Bahamian sponsors and the Bahamian government, Sturrup and Hamilton are confident it will be another success.